Poison Pen

Harry has had enough of seeing his reputation shredded in the Daily Prophet and decides to do something about it. Only he decides to embrace his Slytherin side to rectify matters.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5554780/1/Poison-Pen

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19. Pure Blood versus Muggle Born?

Harry walked into the library to finish his Charms essay. What he saw made him stop and stare. Hermione Granger was almost buried under a table piled high with books, parchments and pamphlets. Harry was accustomed to seeing her surrounded by books, but to this extent was highly unusual. He knew however, a Hermione on a mission was a scary thing and so he approached warily. Two questions remained, what crusade was she pursuing this time, and how long had she been here?

"Hermione? Hermione?" Harry whispered, looking around for the formidable Ms. Pince.

"Huh? What?" Hermione blinked up at him, as she put down her quill. "Oh, Harry."

"Well! For someone who has been harassing me for weeks about being her friend, you seem annoyed to see me," Harry said, trying to keep the bitterness out of his voice. He sat in a chair beside her, carefully avoiding the pile of books in front of him.

"Oh Harry, it isn't that," Hermione said with a sigh. She looked around then whispered. "I'm trying to prove that Oliver Twist is wrong about career choices in the Wizarding World. I mean, Professor McGonagall said I could be anything I wanted, including the future Minister of Magic."

"And now?" Harry asked.

Hermione looked like she was ready to burst into tears. "Twist was right! In the history of the ministry, no muggle-born has ever risen to the position of Minister. In fact, only one half-blood ever did and that's because he was born to an ancient and noble pure blood house himself, and had the full backing of that House. Why Harry? Why did Professor McGonagall lie to me?"

"Have you asked her?"

Hermione sighed, rubbed her eyes and shook her head. "I've been afraid to."

"Are you a Gryffindor or not, Hermione?" Harry challenged her. "There's nothing wrong with asking questions, it's not illegal."

It had come as quite a blow to Harry too, when the Unspeakables had answered his questions about careers in the Wizarding World. According to them, about the only way a muggle-born could get anywhere was to marry into a well to do pure blood family, like his mother had.

And according to the goblins, the Potter men had been a law unto themselves. They'd had the political clout and wealth to do whatever they wanted. Unfortunately, now that Harry was the last of his ling and still underage with almost no training in the political arena, the Potter clout was fading away. The goblins blamed Dumbledore more than anyone for that.

Harry was pretty sure the old meddler had his own reasons for leaving him so woefully ignorant of his heritage, but he couldn't figure out what they were. The goblins and Lord Peter mentioned something about a prophesy which was being very closely watched, not only by the Unspeakables, but by Dumbledore as well. If Harry wanted to view that prophesy it would have to wait until the Christmas hols when he was away from Hogwarts and Dumbledore's control.

"I'm sorry, Hermione," Harry said, bringing his thoughts back to the present.

"What for? It isn't your fault," Hermione sniffed, rubbing her eyes. "I'm going to owl my parents with these stastics, they'll probably pull me from Hogwarts. And furthermore, I'm going to advise every other muggle-born in this school to do the same!"

0o0o0o0

The Heads of the Job Placement, Career Management and Ministry Panel were having their own meeting after Fudge threw down the ultimatum.

"How many muggle-borns owled you for information?" asked the head of Job placement.

"About 378 adults and 38 minors including a very irate muggle-born by the name of Hermione Granger."

"Isn't she one of Potter's little friends?" asked the Head of Career Management.

"Oh yes," came a reply with rolled eyes. "She wanted to know why she was even given a talk about career opportunities if she wasn't going to get anywhere in the Ministry."

"What did you tell her?"

"That it was against Ministry policy to give out that information. What Albus Dumbledore says and does to encourage meaningless expectations in his students isn't the fault of this department."

"Good one mate. Good one."

0o0o0o0o0

Harry watched as the snow fell from the night sky. It was too cold to really go wandering around tonight. Warming charms and wool socks can only do so much to keep a body warm.

He really couldn't sneak out to do any business tonight either. Ron and his dorm mates had decided to have an all-night party. Harry missed discussing things with Lord Peter. He had helped Harry in so many ways. The man may never be the father figure Harry had always longed for, but he has proven trustworthy.

Lord Peter had gone so far as asking about Harry's studies, how his time was spent and if there was anything he wanted to discuss outside of their professional relationship. The man had taught Harry so much about the Wizarding World, his duties as a Lord and obligations, protocol, etiquette and law. Lessons that both Dumbledore and Sirius had neglected.

Harry could understand Dumbledore's reasons, the old coot wanted to keep Harry under his control, but it was Sirius that Harry couldn't figure out. Unless. . . . Sirius figured Dumbledore had already fulfilled that obligation and there wasn't a need. Hmm, that would take some thought.

"Hey Harry! Come join us!" called Seamus.

"Yeah mate! You're missin' out!" laughed Dean.

"Aww leave him alone guys. Harry's not into friendships anymore," mumbled a drunken Ron. "He's still pissed that we didn't buddy up to him over the summer."

"Well, if a friend promised to write, then didn't, I would be pissed to," said Neville, who was slightly less drunk than the others. "'Specially the way he was locked up."

"Not you too, mate! ARGH!" Ron exclaimed. "We coul'n't. Mum 'nnnn Da 'n ol' Wshissker-pussh wou'n't 'low it."

"So? Ne'er stopped ya b'for. If my bessh mate was countin' on me. . ." slurred Seamus.

Ron threw a pillow at Seamus, who threw it at Dean, who threw it at Neville. Soon there was a full blown pillow fight in progress.

Harry got involved when three pillows pounded him at once. Grabbing one, he just had to defend himself. Soon feathers, bits of pillow ticking and fluff flew everywhere. The boys laughed, tearing up the dorm in a rip roaring, drunken brawl.

"GREAT CEASAR'S GHOST! What in Merlin's name is going on in here?" shouted Professor McGonagall as she stepped into the dorm. "You would think someone was dying in here from all the ruckus! Explain yourselves!"

Seamus tried to hide the rum bottle, as Ron tried the same with his fire-whisky. "Nuthin', p'fessor. We were jusht. . ." Seamus said, pausing only to let out a very loud belch. "Oops!" He snickered sheepishly.

"Clean this mess, immediately! And get ready for bed. I will deal with your punishments tomorrow morning."

Five boys' voices echoed. "Yes P'fessor McGonagall."

0o0o0o0

The next morning, Harry and his dorm mates appeared in their Head's office. Only Harry and Neville awoke that morning without a headache. The two looked at each other and shrugged. They doubted that anyone was going to get to visit the infirmary this morning, that meant their roommates would just have to live with their hangovers.

"I over look many things in my house, even the occasional drunkenness. But when I am awakened out of a sound sleep by a prefect, who had repeatedly, tried to tone down your fun, I draw the line. What do you have to say for yourselves?"

Harry and Neville looked at each other. Neither would rat out their dorm mates. However, Ron was a different matter. He couldn't keep his mouth shut.

"Aww. . . we was havin' a bit of fun. Tryin' to get Harry to let loose," Ron said, clutching his head.

"I see," the professor said, looking over at Harry.

"Do you have anything to say, Mr. Potter?"

"Professor?" Neville jumped in, before Harry could speak. "Harry only got involved in the fight well after it was started. He was busy watching it snow."

"And you Mr. Longbottom?"

Neville shrugged. "I was in it for the fun."

"I see. Well, 10 points each for disturbing everyone's rest, including mine. You will clean up your dorm without help. And I should let you boys with a hangover deal with it alone and not send you to the Infirmary."

Ron, Dean and Seamus groaned in pain.

"However, I am not that cruel. You may go to the infirmary after you clean up your dorm. I am sure Madam Pomphrey will have something to say about your condition in very loud voice. You may go," she dismissed them with a smirk. "Mr. Potter, please stay behind."

When the door closed behind the last one out, the very stern witch turned to Harry. Her eyes softening a bit, "I understand you are planning to spend Christmas with Sirius, Mr. Potter. Is that right?"

"Yes ma'am. He invited me," Harry said. He'd been of two minds about accepting the invitation. He realized it would be expected of him, he just wasn't sure if it fitted into his plans.

"I am also informed that he has applied for custody of you. The headmaster isn't too pleased."

"I know, Professor. I've already had a talk with the headmaster. He feels Sirius isn't fully recovered from his ordeal and that returning to my aunt's is for the best," Harry said with a sigh, rubbing the back of his neck. "Professor? What do you think?"

"What I think isn't important, Mr. Potter. My only concern is knowing that you've thought it out fully and understand just what all is entailed."

"Believe me, Professor, I realize that," Harry said. 'Typical,' he thought. 'Why do I even bother asking for advice from her?'

"Well, I won't keep you, Mr. Potter."

"Thank you Professor."

0o0o0o0

Sirius was enjoying his morning cuppa when his copy of the Quibbler arrived. He was enjoying it more and more as Twist started putting digs into long standing pure blood traditions and bigotry. Opening his copy, Sirius' eyes grew wider as he read.

Pure Blood versus Muggle-Born, who will win?

Today I came across an interesting sight. Hermione Granger being reamed out by Madam Pince. That's right. The know-it-all of Gryffindor was being lectured about the care of books. And what brought that on? Why me, of course.

One thing that our Ravenclawish Gryffindor can't stand is being bested. I knew something that she didn't. From the gossip I heard in passing, she refused to leave the library until she found every bit of information about career placements for muggle-borns.

Well, I could've told her that the information wasn't there. The information is in the Hall of Records and in the Ministry Library which, by now, Minister Cornelius Fudge has locked down tighter than Professor Snape's Potion cabinets. I should know, I owled for some information and was told everything had been sealed by order of the Minister. Now, just what is the good Minister afraid of? Hmm? Could this mean that I am right and the Minister just doesn't want to face the truth?

Could he be afraid that the muggle-borns would view this as another attempt to control them and keep them second class citizens? Do the muggle-borns know they out populate pure bloods by 12 to 1? That many of their muggle-born kindred are leaving magical Britain and by leaving, they take the future of our magical communities with them?

Fact: The birth rate of Muggle-born children, in recent years, out numbers the pure blooded by seven to one. That means for every one pure blood born there are seven muggle borns. Half Blood children also out number the pure-bloods by three to one. These figures do not take into account those children of pure blood families born as squibs.

Fact: If one did a heritage test on muggle-borns you would find that they, in fact, have at least several magical or squib ancestors in their family lines. I found this out by querying the Goblins. Not only do they keep self-updating records, they can administer the heritage test -- for a small fee, of course.

Fact: Test results of performance on practical level exams of Hogwarts students in the past decade show that muggle-born and half bloods, on average, hold more magical power in their core than the pure blood students.

Fact: Within pure blood families, the birth rate for squibs and birth defects has risen appreciably in the past century. Again, you can find this out in the Hall of Records. Well you could, but by now, the Minister has sealed off access to all Department Records. I'll let you in on a secret, the Goblins also have these records, they are needed for inheritance purposes, and for a fee you can get a copy of them along with a blood seal assuring their authenticity.

In doing the math, I've come up with a very horrifying discovery. The muggle population in Britain, as of the year 1995: Great Britain ranked 20th in world with a muggle population of 58,426,014. As of 1995, the British Wizarding World population numbered less than 75,000.

Again, if you don't believe me, ask yourself this: Why is everyone in the ministry so afraid that they have sealed off key areas where this information can be found? These records are a matter of public domain. In other words, you have the right to access them freely. It would seem that our minister has over-stepped his authority.

I ask you now, can we afford losing one drop of magical blood no matter its source?

Before anyone gets too upset, I must point out that I got most of my information by writing to the International Wizarding Council and the muggle British Census Department.

I found it interesting that the IWC too is keeping abreast of Britain's Wizarding World's declining numbers. They haven't gotten involved as it is an internal affair, but as more and more muggle-borns leave Britain to make a better life for themselves, and strengthen their new homelands, the concern grows.

--Oliver Twist

0o0o0o0

Just wait, Hermione's melt-down is only starting. She will have more to say in later chapters.

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